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Northrop N-102 Fang light fighter

damian2

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Hi all

In case you don't make it down to the art work section I started my new project. Line art is now done after 6.5 hours. Most of that pouring over the mock ups and deciding which actual aircraft would serve as stand in parts that the mock up didn't show.



The next step is deciding on colour schemes. A SEA is on the cards for sure, perhaps ANG and AFRES (think AFRES F-105s in all those awesome schemes) and perhaps some foreign operators.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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GTX

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That second pic could easily be turned into the parts breakdown for a kit... ;D
 

Stratodesigner

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Hi

This is my first post to this forum. I could never figure out why the images never appeared - until I registered and logged in!

The Northrop N-102 is a fascinating little aircraft that looks like a version of an F-16 - and this is back in 1953!

Any guesses on the performance of the aircraft?

Specifications so far:

Span: 23 ft
Length: 41 ft
Wing Area: 314 sq ft
Thrust: J-79 gives "11,905 lbf (52.9 kN) dry; 17,835 lbf (79.3 kN) with afterburner" - Wikipedia

What about loaded weight of the aircraft in air - to air role? Given the wing area and thrust, we could get an idea of its stall speed, turn capability and rate of climb.

For comparison: Mig 21:

Length: 51 ft. 8 in.
Wingspan: 23 ft. 5 in.
Height: 13 ft. 6 in.
Wing Area: 247.5 sq. ft.
Empty Weight: 11,800 lbs.

http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/militaryaircraft/p/mig21.htm

Mirage III

Length: 15.03 m (49 ft 3½ in)
Wingspan: 8.22 m (26 ft 11⅝ in)
Height: 4.50 m (14 ft 9 in)
Wing area: 34.85 m² (375 ft²)
Empty weight: 7,050 kg (15,600 lb)
Loaded weight: 9,600 kg (21,164 lb)
Thrust: 9,000- 13,000 lb (AB)

(Wikipedia)
 

hesham

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Good Comparison Stratodesigner.
 

kcran567

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I've seen the other threads, and I think Aircraft magazine did a story on the Fang? Why was this little plane not produced, was the Starfighter chosen instead? Does sort of look like an Mig-21 competitor as Hesham and Stratodesigner have said.
 

Stratodesigner

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Well I wanted to do an estimate of the following performance figures for this one and several other 'concept fighters'

The biggest questions are:

1. What it the relationship between wing loading and stall speed?
2. What is the relationship between thrust loading or thrust to weight and rate of climb?

Are there formula for these?

Hope to do a little analysis on my own and post the results here.

It would seem that in discussing specifications of designs that never flew, estimating performance would be a big part. :'(
 

TomS

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kcran567 said:
I've seen the other threads, and I think Aircraft magazine did a story on the Fang? Why was this little plane not produced, was the Starfighter chosen instead? Does sort of look like an Mig-21 competitor as Hesham and Stratodesigner have said.
The main reason seems to be that the Air Force wasn't actually interested in a lightweight fighter until Lockheed made an unsolicited offer of the CL-246 (later F-104). The Air Force liked the idea and came up with a corresponding General Operational Requirement. The N-102 was offered (along with a couple of other aircraft) for that GOR, but Lockheed was much further along with their design and it would have been very hard for anyone else to win.
 

pathology_doc

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Stratodesigner said:
Are there formula for these?

Hope to do a little analysis on my own and post the results here.

There are, and they are complex. "Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach" by Daniel P Raymer will give you some idea of the flavour. Unfortunately, being a textbook, it's very expensive, and ironically, used previous editions are even more hideously so. A search for related titles might turn something up that's less pricey, or if you live in a major city, university libraries will stock appropriate references.


At the end of the day, in that era, performance estimation was something even the experts could get grossly wrong, usually with unpleasant consequences for the design.


TomS said:
but Lockheed was much further along with their design and it would have been very hard for anyone else to win.

A shame, because this is one of the might-have-beens which IMO deserved to be a should-have-been. Others, not so much.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Exactly so. N-102 seems to be suffering from a lack of area ruling, for starters, so that would be a brake on performance.
 

Stratodesigner

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At the end of the day, in that era, performance estimation was something even the experts could get grossly wrong, usually with unpleasant consequences for the design.
Looks like this is the case. Comparisons with other aircraft - Mirage III, Mig 21, Delta Dagger, F4D Skyray did not show any discernible trends. I did try comparing the square root of wing loading, there was a rough variance of about 40%. Accurate figures for stall speeds are hard to come by as well.

I will simply list the known wing loadings and specifications of the other comparable fighters to get a rough idea of the performance of the N-102.

Does "Secretprojects.co.uk" have a database of aircraft? It would seem a convenient place to put all this info in searchable form.

I notice the "Temco Model 31 VF Day Fighter" is not listed anywhere, it has a similar layout.

http://retromechanix.com/temco-model-31-vf-day-fighter/nggallery/image/spot-illustration-of-the-temco-model-31-landing-on-a-carrier-deck-the-quality-of-the-artwork-in-the-temco-proposal-was-more-primitive-than-that-of-larger-companies-perhaps-reflecting-the-smaller-siz
 

Motocar

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Pioneer said:
Wow great find Macca!!!
Never thought I would be able to find a cut-away of the sadley overlooked and forgotten Fang :eek:

Keep the search and finding coming :p

P.S. that M61 shore does look much bigger in the Fang, when compared to the monsters like the Phantom II, Thunderchief etc........

Regards
Pioneer
This modified cutaway make it some years ago and got two forums in which I participate, at least one friend decided to share it here too.
 

hesham

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ZacYates

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I kinda want a model or three of the Fang. What a sweet design, and what a treasure trove of imagery! Thanks to everyone who's shared their stuff.
 

Pioneer

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Nice find RAP!!

Thank's

Regards
Pioneer
 

kcran567

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Why couldn't an FBW equipped version of this have been considered for the LWF competition? Seems like an effective aircraft that could have been made in numbers. Or used as a sub-LWF for customers needing something less.
 

RAP

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Northrop ad from 1956.
 

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Sundog

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Something I hadn't realized, even though his name is on the patent, is that Edgar Schmued, the designer of the P-51, was also one of the lead designers on Fang. You can even see him on the left in this pic post by Mark upthread;

Edgar Schmued and Fang

I know I'm usually late to the party, but I just thought I would point it out for others who hadn't noticed it before either. I just read this in the book on the development of the P-51. Of course, it was also noted in Tony Chong's post on the butterfly tail version as well. It just never clicked with me until I read the P-51 book.

Edit: OK, something else really interesting is that it was Echols who brought Schmued over to Northrop. It's interesting, because in the P-51 development book, Echols was the one primarily blocking the USAAC from using the P-51 as an escort fighter. The main reasons being that the P-51 was designed to a British Spec., not an American Spec., it was designed by a German emigre, and NA wasn't a big well known company like Curtiss or GM; Echols wanted the Curtiss P-60 as the new escort fighter and when that failed and it's and the P-40's designer Don Berlin left and went to GM, he had them try to develop an escort fighter, the XP-75. A lot of it also had to do with the whole bomber mentality that had infected the USAAC as well. The P-51 was almost the U.S. equivalent to the Me-262, but the British persisted, along with some U.S. pilots who had flown it, in getting it used as a fighter by the U.S.
 

Pioneer

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Thank you Sundog, I found the above info interesting!!

Regards
Pioneer
 

KJ_Lesnick

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According to Tony Chong's book on the N-102, IIRC, the aircraft appeared to have switched to the J79 prior to Lockheed winning the contract for what would become, the F-104: Regardless, it seems that the design often depicted (the image in the mockup) came together after Lockheed won the contract.

It's ironic that, had they developed that shape before, the design would have had numerous advantages over the F-104 (maneuverability), and with a J79, it appeared that the ability to achieve Mach 2 performance would have been do-able (though the nose appears a bit blunter than would be optimum).

Northrop appeared interested in pursuing the design anyway for various reasons, and ultimately they would be successful, though the design ultimately changed considerably.
 

LowObservable

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Tony writes in the book that the idea was to offer a dry J65 or J57 for close air support, an A/B version of either for higher performance, and the J79 for interception. But one should also remember that the J40 disaster was fresh in people's minds and that one might want to offer a choice on principle.
 

Stargeneral410

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Greetings All -

I had the opportunity to spend two days scanning photos from my friend Gerald Balzer's collection. I was pleasantly surprised to find a folder dealing with the N-102 Fang - more art and photos of the mock up than I could have imagined. So, thamnks to Gerald, here's something to share with the rest of the gang....

First up, artwork!

Enjoy the Day! Mark
Thank you for sharing beautiful photos for such an awesome aircraft with strong dogfight potential! The US Air Force could have defeated the North Vietnam quicker if they accepted the Fangs and not to rely on the missiles too much. Also, the fictional Soviet T-tail supersonic fighter jets in the picture are interesting as well.
 

RLBH

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The US Air Force could have defeated the North Vietnam quicker if they accepted the Fangs and not to rely on the missiles too much.
You do realise that the US performance in Vietnam wasn't limited by aircraft armament, but by the lack of a coherent concept of what the war was supposed to achieve and how that objective could be reached?
 

Stargeneral410

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The US Air Force could have defeated the North Vietnam quicker if they accepted the Fangs and not to rely on the missiles too much.
You do realise that the US performance in Vietnam wasn't limited by aircraft armament, but by the lack of a coherent concept of what the war was supposed to achieve and how that objective could be reached?
Thank you for sharing your idea, RLBH!
 

Archibald

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Why couldn't an FBW equipped version of this have been considered for the LWF competition? Seems like an effective aircraft that could have been made in numbers. Or used as a sub-LWF for customers needing something less.
Note that Northrop in the end build 3000 N-156s a.k.a T-38 and F-5. They had learned their lessons from the Fang failure to attract USAF interest despite its qualities...
 
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